How the world's most powerful media mogul really thinks
The third book in Portfolio's new series looks at Rupert Murdoch, the controversial chairman and CEO of News Corp. He is the subject of endless gossip, speculation, and criticism, but what really drives his bold (and usually successful) gambles?
Based on comments from News Corp. executives and competitors, and interviews with Wall Street analysts, investors, and other media experts, Paul La Monica's book explores some of the most fascinating questions about Murdoch. For instance:
- How did he grow a small Australian newspaper company into a global media empire?
- Why did he challenge the TV establishment with the Fox Network and Fox News Channel--for profits or for deeper reasons?
- Did his obsession with The Wall Street Journal lead him to overpay for Dow Jones?
- How has he dealt with detractors and enemies, including Ted Turner and John Malone?
- Was he smart to acquire MySpace to launch his Internet strategy?
- Why does he still work so hard at age 77 with a net worth of $8.8 billion and nothing to prove?
The life of the world's most famous media mogul is fodder for this third offering in a new series from Portfolio detailing the lives of modern brilliant business thinkers. La Monica, editor at large of CNNMoney.com, follows Rupert Murdoch's climb to News Corp. chairman and CEO, from his early newspaper career in his native Australia through his move to the U.S. and purchase of the New York Post, New York magazine, the Village Voice and Chicago Sun-Times to his creation of the Fox network-with such shows as Married... with Children, The Simpsons and Fox News-and his return to print with the Wall Street Journal. As the CEO of the only truly global media company, Murdoch is a fascinating subject, and the book makes much of his "maverick" nature, describing his ventures out of his comfort zone such as the purchase of the L.A. Dodgers and experiments with MySpace and Fox Interactive Media, and even his initial excitement and ultimate disappointment with HarperCollins and the sluggish book business. Unfortunately, the writing is poorly paced and as dust-dry as an organic chemistry textbook, turning this ambitious effort into a snooze. (Mar.)
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March 18, 2009
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